Feature Photo: [Adam_Baker] / Photo Above:Chang’r

On September 27, 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 32, a “first-in-the-world” bill that implemented regulations to make a serious impact in reducing California’s greenhouse gas emissions. One particular measure on the November ballot is threatening to suspend AB 32 – Proposition 23.

ACCORDING TO California’s Voter Guide, California is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the United States, prompting Governor Schwarzenegger to take the issue seriously. Prop 23 would

“suspend implementation of the Air Pollution Control Law (AB 32) requiring major sources of emissions to report and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that control global warming, until unemployment drops to 5.5 percent or less for full year.”

If AB 32 stays in place, it is estimated that green house gases would be reduced by 30% by 2020 if all the targets are met.

Why should you vote NO?

Prop 23 is primarily funded by Big Oil.
What a surprise. Valero and Tesoro Texas oil companies are pitching in millions of dollars to repeal clean energy and air pollution standards so that they are less accountable for what they put into the air.

The Air Pollution Control Law will be suspended indefinitely.
The terms of Prop 32 suspend the law that requires greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020 until California’s unemployment drop to 5.5% or less for four consecutive quarters. The unemployment rate in California has only been at 5.5% or less for four consecutive quarters just three times since 1970, and economic forecasts predict that the state’s unemployment will remain above 8% for at least the next five years.

Investments in alternative energy research and job creation would dramatically decrease.
If there’s no potential profit or support for investing into the clean energy or energy efficiency sectors, the sad truth is that most investors will not put their billions of dollars into it, as they currently have been. This will result in less money going into those areas of the job market, leading to my next point.

“Prop 23 would allow polluters to avoid laws that require them to reduce harmful greenhouse gases and air pollution. Prop 23 is a serious threat to public health. – American Lung Association of California”

California could lose hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The green job market in California is growing faster than any other state, with 500,000 people work for more than 12,000 clean technology companies. Without the push for clean technology under AB 32, many of these people could lose their jobs and companies could potentially go out of business.

It will halt the movement away from foreign oil dependence.
No jobs + No money = no further exploration into solar or wind power as energy sources. If you take away renewable energy as an option, the only choice left is fossil fuels.

It works.
After the Port of Long Beach began implementing it’s Clean Air Action Plan in response to AB 32, an air quality study showed that diesel particulate matter dropped by 21% from 2005-2008, and greenhouse gases by 7%. Declining cargo shipments had a slight effect, but the main factor was cleaner technology.

Proposition 23 is opposed by the American Lung Association of California, Coalition for Clean Air, AARP, League of Women Voters of California, LA Business Council, 50+ environmental organizations, 200+ solar and wind energy companies, and me.

Community Connection:

Big Oil is gaining quite a reputation around the world for its environmental irresponsibility, from the Gulf Coast in the United States to the Amazon to Nigeria.